The Weight We Carry: Put Down Your Baggage

As we celebrated the fourth of July this weekend, it seemed like independence was on everyone’s mind. And while America’s independence from its past is certainly paramount to the lives we lead, what does it mean to be independent of our own pasts and how do we get there?

All of us are born with baggage. We’re born with certain talents, particular family dynamics, unique personalities, specific socio-economic statuses and most definitely some shortcomings. We’re born into lives that expect things of us, into lives that place obstacles in our way. And while all of these circumstances help to shape our fate, fate is not destiny. We are equipped with the tools necessary to determine our own futures.

Too many of us, though, get caught up in this idea of baggage. We use it as an excuse. We claim to be unable to change because of these aforementioned circumstances. We say it’s “who we are.” We say it’s just the way it is. Well, to that I say, yes, we’re all born with baggage, but at some point you have the power to decide to keep on lugging it around or to put it down and walk away. At some point that baggage becomes your burden to bear – no longer because it was placed on you, but rather because you’ve failed to remove it.

Remove it. Put it down and walk away. You can be whoever you want to be. It’s all about choice.

Yes, there is comfort in the known. There is comfort in the path you’ve already traveled, the patterns you’ve already unraveled and the puzzles you’ve already solved. The weight of your past, be it from your family, your upbringing, your mishaps, your accomplishments, your relationships or anything else, can present itself in many ways. It can literally be seen in the extra weight your carry or it can be seen in the choices you make. It can be seen in the unnecessary risks you take or in your failure to take necessary risks. It can be seen in your relationships, careers and lifestyles. And, most problematically, it can be comforting.

But being comfortable is just that: comfortable. It is not electric. It is not passionate. It is not a life full of love, happiness and fulfillment.

For each of us our obstacles are different. But I can tell you this: defining your baggage means you can put it down. You can put it down and walk away. You can run away. And you never have to look back. You have the power to distance yourself from your circumstances, to determine your own destiny and to be whoever you want to be.

The first step in getting there, though, is in figuring out the contents of your baggage. Knowing what you’re carrying around allows you to release it. I’ve made the choice not to carry the baggage of past heartache around, not to allow my fear of professional or personal failure to prevent me from jumping in head-first. I looked into my baggage and I decided to put it down.

So, what’s the baggage you’re holding on to? And, starting today, can you take the steps necessary to start to untie it from your back, put it down and walk away? It may just be the best (and certainly most effective!) weight-loss plan you’ve ever embarked on!

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Alexis Wolfer is Editor-in-Chief of and a Real Beauty activist. Follow her on Twitter here.

  • Magdalena

    I’ve passed your article to my two daughters. As I prayed this morning I asked God to help mefind my way. Then I opened my email and read your peice.
    I need to lose 10 physical lbs, and 100 emotional lbs. The journey starts today. Thank you

    • I’m so glad this spoke to you. Good luck on your journey!

  • Tiffany

    DAG ON— This is right on POINT. Wow, people, including myself should really put some thought into this. I believe it will get you further than ANY other Daily Love article. (Even though they are ALL extrememly important.) But I’m almost POSITIVE that this is the number on issue “people” have. GREAT ARTICLE!!!

    • Diva

      Thank you, Alexis. I’ve been packing my bags a lot lately, moving and setting up house again and again. I’m ready for a real place to call home. I want to empty the bags and give it a rest for a while. Taking responsibility for the weight we have burdened ourselves with may be something to consider before running away. Otherwise, we keep accumulating the heavy unwanted energy in the same areas of our lives…over and over again. Getting to the root of the addiction, the pattern, the procrastination — how do we do that? Yes, I procrastinate. I continue to attract the same circumstances. I am aware that I do this, and I’m passionate to integrate with this community, to choose a positive environment for myself, to be inspired to move to the next level with all of you. This is where the “daily love” really comes in. Sit right in the middle of the uncomfortableness — with love — and it will transform. Yes? I don’t want to suffer anymore — at least not in the same way over and over again. I want the strength to pull myself out of the default ditch and make a different choice. Strength. Right?

      • Diva, thank you for your comment. It does that strength but it also takes surrounding yourself with the support system you need – and it appears you’re starting to do that! Good luck!

    • Thank you, Tiffany! I do hope this helps! It was a lesson I needed to remind myself too 🙂

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  • Rhesa

    I loved this article. It seemed to be right on time with what’s current in my life. I’ve learned so much of the who, what, when, where, why, and how, that it almost feels like putting down dead weight. Getting to the source helped me realize what I was really holding onto; fear. By acknowledging that, I was able to confront it and start anew.

    Happiness, Love, Beauty,

  • Great article…so many times we walk around with more baggage than a cruise ship. We have an open backpack on and people feel free to dump their wants, neediness, unkindness, toxicity, and guilt into it. So we walk around slouched over by all that we allow others to fill it with, unnecessary burdens. I have decided I no longer need to carry anything around. You like me or you don’t, and I smile and do what is good for me. I take myself where the day sends me. I don’t worry about what others think, the baggage has been put in the “lost” and hope to never be “found” …and glow at how happy and peaceful life is since I have just let go. The weight of baggage brings you down, time to drop the bags and fell free…for maybe the first time in years. Today…I am who I am supposed to be.

  • Kathi

    Step. Away. From. The. Baggage. Good advice!!! Amazing how much weight gets lifted off your shoulders (and other places) when you do. Thank you for this, Alexis!